CHAPTER 21: Some Days Ashore
"Master is right," Conseil replied, "and I propose that we set aside
three places in our longboat: one for fruit, another for vegetables,
and a third for venison, of which I still haven't glimpsed
the tiniest specimen."
"Don't give up so easily, Conseil," the Canadian replied.
"So let's continue our excursion," I went on, "but keep a sharp lookout.
This island seems uninhabited, but it still might harbor certain
individuals who aren't so finicky about the sort of game they eat!"
"Hee hee!" Ned put in, with a meaningful movement of his jaws.
"Ned! Oh horrors!" Conseil exclaimed.
"Ye gods," the Canadian shot back, "I'm starting to appreciate
the charms of cannibalism!"
"Ned, Ned! Don't say that!" Conseil answered. "You a cannibal?
Why, I'll no longer be safe next to you, I who share your cabin!
Does this mean I'll wake up half devoured one fine day?"
"I'm awfully fond of you, Conseil my friend, but not enough to eat
you when there's better food around."
"Then I daren't delay," Conseil replied. "The hunt is on!
We absolutely must bag some game to placate this man-eater, or one
of these mornings master won't find enough pieces of his manservant
to serve him."
While exchanging this chitchat, we entered beneath the dark canopies
of the forest, and for two hours we explored it in every direction.
We couldn't have been luckier in our search for edible vegetation,
and some of the most useful produce in the tropical zones supplied
us with a valuable foodstuff missing on board.
I mean the breadfruit tree, which is quite abundant on Gueboroa Island,
and there I chiefly noted the seedless variety that in Malaysia
is called "rima."